ROH TV 9/01/12

–The tag team title tournament continues in Ring of Honor as we see the makeshift team of Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus take on Truth Martini’s Guardians of Truth, and we find out which team will fill the vacant spot created by Haas & Titus’ consolidation, as they battle the Bravado Brothers.

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–The tag title tournament resumes right away as Lancelot and Harlem Bravado make their way to the ring to face unknown opponents. They are followed by Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs, representing S.C.U.M. who lay out the scenario: Jim Cornette didn’t want them in the tag tournament, but the deal they made with him was one he couldn’t refuse. If Corino and Jacobs lose any match in the tournament, they are both fired and banned from ROH forever. Under normal circumstances I’d say that kind of ruins the finale of the tournament, but in this case it’s still a gray area because both Jacobs and Corino have been working for ROH on a tenuous basis, and I think they’re both basically just on a handshake deal. Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs are two of the most underrated professional wrestlers in America, in my opinion. This match was pretty formula, with the Bravados bringing the high flying and the S.C.U.Mers cutting them off at the pass. I think Jimmy Jacobs needs to retire the man-skirt look. He seems way too overjoyed to yank it up or stick his opponents head up there. Both Corino and Jacobs got to hit a few of their trademark spots, with Jacobs hitting his blind diving cutter on Lancelot Bravado and spearing Harlem in short order. Corino’s seated lariat attempt on Lancelot was reversed into a crucifix for two but Corino finished it up (with what looked like a hard edit, possibly covering a botch) with a Backdrop Driver for the pinfall. Afterwards the Guardians of Truth attacked, drawing out Kevin Steen for the save, only for Steen to eat a gore from Rhino. It still feels like they don’t know which side to make the heels in this scenario. Truth Martini was on commentary cheering on the ostensible faces of this match in the Bravados, but then his guys acted heelish in the attack. S.C.U.M. are supposed to seem like heels but are cheered heavily. I guess the easy answer is to just forget about moral designations and support whoever you like. Me, as always, I’m just really happy to see Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs wrestling.

–A video package on Jay Lethal precedes a one on one match between him and Matt Taven. Or so it would seem. Prior to the match Lethal grabs the microphone and makes it clear why he hasn’t gotten his chance at Kevin Steen yet: Jim Cornette thinks he can’t beat Kevin Steen, because he’s too nice. As Lethal and Taven shook hands for the Code of Honor, Lethal booted Taven in the nuts for the DQ, and then laid out the referee with a Lethal Combination. Theoretically that should lead to a suspension but we’ll see how it rolls out. In keeping with the shades of gray regarding face/heel roles, theoretically this should be a heel turn for Lethal, but since he’s facing the dichotomy that is Steen (I’m guessing they’ll continue to build this until Final Battle) it could just be an assertion of aggression.

–The Unlikely Pairing of Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus (I’m not stealing a Scott joke, that’s what they kept calling them) take on the two guys you aren’t supposed to know are the Headbangers, The Guardians of Truth, in the main event. Haas and Titus do a lot of basic wacky tag partners who hate each other schtick before the match. I really don’t enjoy Charlie Haas anymore. He gets way more focus in ROH than he really deserves considering how vanilla he is, and he doesn’t wrestle anywhere near the level he used to when he was younger and hungrier in WWE. Titus is one of those guys who seems like he should have potential, but considering how long he’s been at it he should’ve capitalized by now. He’s not terrible, though. The Headbangers were good in their day, and they’ve held up well, especially considering the amount of time Thrasher spent away from wrestling, but those Guardian outfits look extremely ghetto and don’t behoove them well. This match wasn’t much of anything, really. Back & forth action, not a lot of double teams worth remembering, except for a Botchamania worthy moment where the Guardians attempted a combination curb-stomp and diving elbowdrop that didn’t come off well. The Guardians (every time I type that I picture those owls from that stupid movie that they made fun of on 30 Rock when Liz’s pilot boyfriend played by Matt Damon wouldn’t let them off the plane) nearly finished Titus off with the Stage Dive, but Charlie cut them off and Rhett reversed into a jacknife rollup for the win. Afterward Corino and Jacobs got their revenge on the Guardians, of no concern to Haas & Titus, as we went off the air.

–This was basically a one match show, as the main event left a lot to be desired. The S.C.U.M./Bravados match was fun, but nothing I’d have gone out of my way to see. I’d have maybe thought about putting that on last, and having the last shot of the show be Rhino’s gore on Steen, and excised the attack on the Guardians in the appres. But of course Charlie Haas is one of Cornette’s boys going back to OVW and the Headbangers were Cornette’s boys going back to Tennessee and WWF, so they end up closing. Cornette is starting to slowly strangle ROH with his cronyism, and it’s especially sad considering how much he’s spoken out against other people doing it. Next week we see the last quarterfinal match in the tournament as The Briscoes take on Ruckus & BLK Jeez, collectively known as BLK OUT, and Adam Cole defends the TV title against Michael Elgin. Until then, don’t take my word for it, go to ROHwrestling.com and check it out for yourself.